Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

Los Angeles doesn't have a good reputation for historical preservation and reporting this story made me realize just how difficult it is to gather public support especially for large projects that encompass a wide swath of the city. I speak with archeologists about the process and difficulties of preservation.

~*C
Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Yosuke Kitazawa
Published: 02 May 2014, KCET

Photoscourtesy of Peter Bennett/Citizen of the Planet
Things have progressed quickly at the Zanja Madre excavation. Too quickly, feels historian and photographer William Preston Bowling.

Last Saturday, a little more than two weeks after the discovery of the historic "Mother Ditch" by construction workers, City Council District 1, in partnership with Metabolic Studios and Forest City, removed an approximately 40-foot section of the Zanja Madre at the Blossom Plaza development site. It will be stored at Metabolic Studios until it can be incorporated in three spots: Blossom Plaza's Cultural Plaza, which is being developed by Forest City; the Los Angeles Historic State Park; and as part of Metabolic Studios' Los Angeles River Water Wheel project.

"Each time I visit [the site], another section is damaged and such Los Angeles River history should not be treated in this way," said Bowling a few days before the planned removal of the Zanja. He is a regular by the river due to his consulting work for Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR). "It's my worry that Council District 1 just wants the development to go through and they're throwing this piece of the Zanja Madre at Lauren Bon's Metabolic Studio saying, 'Hey take this!' and everyone's going to be happy." [read more]

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